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Lessons & Legacies Ottawa - Conference Preview


Canadian War Museum

The Holocaust: Rethinking Paradigms in Research and Representation

What does it mean to develop conceptual paradigms relating to the Holocaust? From its etymological roots, “paradigm” denotes patterns, models, precedents, and examples. How might existing paradigms for understanding, representing, and teaching about the Holocaust benefit from re-examination and reformulation in light of new sources, interpretive methods, and interdisciplinary approaches and conversations? To what extent can debates in the study of the Holocaust pertaining (but not limited) to modernity, colonialism, antisemitism, racial and gender discrimination, and sexual violence, as well as conceptions of trauma, memory, testimony, and representation, connect the Holocaust to discussions of nationalism, imperialism, and mass atrocity more broadly? In what ways can experiences of the Holocaust constructively be invoked to call attention to human rights crises?  What are the limits and perils of invoking such experiences?

This conference aims to deepen our understanding of the Holocaust by recognizing that the uniqueness and specificities of the Holocaust should neither prohibit nor be lost in the process of drawing historical analogies. Holding the conference in Canada also offers an opportunity to think anew about specific lessons of the Holocaust for criminal acts against indigenous populations.

Conference Sponsors: Carleton University, University of Ottawa, the Azrieli Foundation. The Canadian War Museum will host the keynote lecture.

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History

Canadian Parliament and Centennial Flame

Reconsidering Collaboration and Resistance

Reconsidering Collaboration and Resistance

Simon Goldberg, Clark University

Reading the History of Jewish Policemen in the Kovno Ghetto:
Threads, Traces, and New Interpretations

abstract

Hana Kubátová, Charles University

Ordinary Priests. Local Religious Authorities in Eastern Slovakia and the Holocaust 

Abstract

 

Justina Smalkyté, Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po)

Lithuanian Nationalist Anti-Nazi Resistance and the Holocaust: An Intellectual and Social History

Abstract

 

Sue Vice, University of Sheffield

Rethinking Modernity: Zygmunt Bauman and Claude Lanzmann

 

ABSTRACT

Rethinking Holocaust Paradigms: History, Memory, Testimony

Rethinking Holocaust Paradigms: History, Memory, Testimony

Moderator: Alon Confino, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Peter Davies, University of Edinburgh

Knowledge, testimony, translation: interpreters at the first Frankfurt Auschwitz trial

ABSTRACT

Amos Goldberg, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Identifying with the Perpetrator: History and Psychoanalysis

ABSTRACT

 

Thomas Kühne, Clark University

From Motivation to Interaction: Perpetrators

ABSTRACT

 

Daniel Marwecki, SOAS University of London; University of Leeds

Rewriting the History of German-Israeli Relations

VIDEO

Writing The Comprehensive History of the Holocaust in Poland

Writing The Comprehensive History of the Holocaust in Poland 

The panel includes scholars who are planning and writing a one-volume history of the Holocaust in Poland as part of Yad Vashem’s series, The Comprehensive History of the Holocaust. This volume is one of the most complex and difficult to write, since Poland was divided into so many parts and was the scene for the persecution and murder of so many people.

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Havi Dreifuss, Tel Aviv University; Yad Vashem

Writing the History of the Holocaust in Poland: Summarizing existing knowledge or providing new innovative insights?

Abstract

David Engel, New York University

On Paradigms and their Limits: Reflections on Efforts to Write Histories of the Holocaust in Poland and in the Soviet Union

Abstract

Samuel Kassow, Trinity College

Setting the Polish Jewish Framework

Abstract

David Silberklang, Yad Vashem; University of Haifa; Hebrew University

Tying Together a Story’s Disparate Parts: On the Concept, Complexity, and Composition of the Comprehensive History of the Holocaust in Poland – 1941 As a Case Study

Abstract

"In This Sign, Conquer!" Christians and Christianity in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust

"In This Sign, Conquer!" Christians and Christianity in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust

Moderator: Benjamin Baader, University of Manitoba

There is no escaping the presence of Christianity in the Holocaust. The overwhelming majority of individuals who perpetrated and enabled genocide were Christian. Yet decades after the Shoah, questions persist about how to understand the place of Christianity in mass murder.

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Doris Bergen, University of Toronto

Genocidal Culture: Christianity and the Normalization of Mass Violence

Abstract

Martina Cucchiara, Bluffton University

"Think of Parzival!" The Practice of Race Mysticism in Catholic Girls' Education in Nazi Germany

Abstract

Robert P. Erickson, Pacific Lutheran University

Gerhard Kittel and the Quest for New Paradigms on Christian Antisemitism

Abstract

Douglas Morris, Federal Defenders of New York, Inc.

Bonhoeffer, Jesus and the Jews: An Entrée into a Deficient Theory of Anti-Nazi Resistance

Abstract

The Micro-Encounter and Expanding Histories of Liberation

The Micro-Encounter and Expanding Histories of Liberation

Moderator: Patricia A. Kollander, Florida Atlantic University

Engaging with the recent historical scholarship that asserts that “liberation” could be miserable, uneven, and prolonged, this panel brings together historians who study the interactions among European Jews, Allied military personnel, and journalists. It turns to the “micro-encounter” as a methodology that can result in nuanced understandings of liberation, the Allied presence, and local Jewish communal life in postwar Europe.

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Robin Judd, The Ohio State University

And there was Goose! The Wedding Reception as Micro-Encounter, 1945-1950

Abstract

Richard Menkis, University of British Columbia

Micro-Encounters of a Canadian Jewish Chaplain with Belgian and Dutch Survivors

Abstract

Veerle Vanden Daelen, Kazerne Dossin

Micro-Encounters of Orthodox Jews in immediate post-war Antwerp

Abstract

A Lens on Liepāja: Filming, Photographing and Celebrating Mass Murder

A Lens on Liepāja: Filming, Photographing and Celebrating Mass Murder

This panel uses the mass murder of Jews at Liepāja, Latvia in 1941 as a case study for examining the ways in which German forces witnessed, recorded, and celebrated these acts.

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Hilary Earl, Nipissing University

Shooting Victims. Recording Terror.

Abstract

Valerie Hébert, Lakehead University Orillia

"Not to Tiptoe Away in the Face of Suffering": Why We Look at Holocaust Photographs

Abstract

Daniel H. Magilow, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Aesthetics in the Šķēde Atrocity Photographs

Abstract

Edward B. Westermann, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Celebratory Ritual and Comradeship in the Wake of Mass Murder

Abstract

Holocaust in Poland Re-examined: The Fate of Polish Jews Seen through the Lens of County-level Research

Holocaust in Poland Re-examined: The Fate of Polish Jews Seen through the Lens of County-level Research

Moderator: Jan Grabowski, University of Ottawa

This panel presents a part of a large-scale research project, undertaken between 2014-18 by a group of researchers grouped around the Polish Center for Holocaust Research, of the Polish Academy of Sciences, based in Warsaw, Poland. The panel shall focus on four out of nine counties, which were included in our two-volume publication, Night Without End. The Fate of the Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland.

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Karolina Panz, Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences

Nowy Targ County

Abstract

Dagmara Swałtek-Niewińska, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Bochnia County

Anna Zapalec, Institute of History and Archival Studies, Pedagogical University of Cracow

Zloczow County

Video 

Jean-Charles Szurek, Institut des Sciences Sociales du Politique, CNRS, Université Paris-Nanterre

Lukow County

Abstract

Memory

Canadian National Holocaust Museum

Holocaust Memory: Questioning Intimate, Local, and Testimonial Assumptions

Holocaust Memory: Questioning Intimate, Local, and Testimonial Assumptions

Moderator: Berel Lang, State Univesity of New York-Albany, Emeritus

Helmut Smith, Vanderbilt University

Germans and Jews and Local Memory, 1975-2000

Abstract

Alexandra Szczepan, Jagiellonian University in Krakow

Mapping Catastrophe at the Grassroots Level: Holocaust Maps as Alternative Testimonies 

video

 

Frances Tanzer, Clark University 

Klezmer Dynasty: An Intimate History of Jewish Culture after 1945 

abstract

 

Holocaust Remembrance in the Periphery: Cosmopolitan Memory Politics and National Translations

Holocaust Remembrance in the Periphery: Cosmopolitan Memory Politics and National Translations

Moderator: Jelena Subotić, Georgia State University

Efforts of governments and civic institutions to commemorate the Holocaust have intensified exponentially since the turn of the century. As a consequence of diverse but converging transnational initiatives, countries around the world have gradually introduced an annual Holocaust Remembrance Day (HRD) on January 27th. These new, supra-national forms of commemoration are conceived as the ritualized expression of a global community of values and responsibility. But they are also accompanied by contradictions and intrinsic ambiguities.

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Alejandro Baer, University of Minnesota

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Spain and the Franco Question

abstract

Yagmur Karakaya, University of Minnesota

"No genocide in our past”: Holocaust Commemorations in Turkey

Abstract

 

Kim Robin Stoller, International Institute for Education and Research on Antisemitism, Berlin

Contested Memory: Holocaust commemoration events in Morocco

abstract

 

Wanda Wechsler, Universidad Nacional Arturo Jauretche, Buenos Aires

Holocaust Remembrance in Argentina: The State and Local Jewish Communities

Abstract

The Post-communist Turn: Holocaust Memory of the 2010s in Central and Eastern Europe

The Post-communist Turn: Holocaust Memory of the 2010s in Central and Eastern Europe

Moderator: Sue Vice, University of Sheffield

Owing to the space opened up for critical national reflection after the fall of communism ended Soviet-era censorship, the territories of Central and Eastern Europe have borne witness to the proliferation of previously repressed or overlooked memories of the Holocaust since 1989-91.

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Emily-Rose Baker, University of Sheffield

Comedy and Collaboration: Radu Jude’s I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (2018)

Abstract

Zuzanna Dziuban, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Forensics and the Post-Holocaust Politics of Dead Bodies in Poland

Abstract

Isabel Sawkins, University of Exeter

Russian Education in the Russian Federation: A Challenge to the State-Endorsed Paradigm

Abstract

Jelana Subotić, Georgia State University

Appropriation of Holocaust Memory in East Central Europe after Communism

Abstract

(Re)Framing Memories of Sexual Violence During the Holocaust: Visual and Verbal Representations

(Re)Framing Memories of Sexual Violence During the Holocaust: Visual and Verbal Representations

Moderator: Edward Westermann, Texas A&M University

A topic that was once shrouded in shame, taboo, myth, and outright denial, sexual violence during the Holocaust has come to be recognized by many scholars as a legitimate and necessary area of study. Given this shift, this is an opportune moment to reconsider the paradigms within which we research sexual violence during the Holocaust.

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Miranda Brethour, City University of New York

Memories of Shelter and Abuse: The Reflections of Female Survivors on Gentile Rescuers and Sexual Violence in Hiding during the Holocaust in Poland

Abstract

Daina Eglitis, George Washington University

Into the Void: Liberator Violence and its Victims at the End of WWII

Abstract

Elissa Mailänder, Sciences PO, Paris

Trophy Selfies: Performative Transgressions in Private Photographs of Wehrmacht Soldiers

Video

Carli Snyder, City University of New York

Descriptions of Sexual Violence in Joan Ringelheim’s ‘Women and the Holocaust’ Interviews, 1979-1984

Abstract

From Segregation to Murder to Memory: The Fate of the Disabled in Twentieth-Century Germany

From Segregation to Murder to Memory: The Fate of the Disabled in Twentieth-Century Germany

This panel addresses Lessons and Legacies XVI’s call to rethink paradigms in research and representation in regard to the Holocaust, and the challenges ensuing from the insight “that the uniqueness and specificities of the Holocaust should neither prohibit nor be lost in the process of drawing historical analogies.”

More

Dagmar Herzog, City University of New York

Reclaiming “The Racial State”: Eugenics, Euthanasia, and the Moral Politics of Historiography

Abstract

Lutz Kaelber, University of Vermont

"Jewish Mixed-Race" Minors in the "Education Center" at Hadamar (1943-45) and their Jewish parents: Death and Survival

Abstract

Robert Parzer, Foundation of Saxonian Memorial Sites-Torgau

Rethinking the Connection: Nazi-Euthanasia and the Holocaust

Abstract

Warren Rosenblum, Webster University

Bethel in our Dreams: The Asylum Between Utopia and Nightmare

Abstract

Justice beyond the Iron Curtain: Nazis, local collaborators, and Jews on trial in Poland, Germany, and the USSR, 1940s - 1970s

Justice beyond the Iron Curtain: Nazis, local collaborators, and Jews on trial in Poland, Germany, and the USSR, 1940s - 1970s

Moderator: Gabriel Finder, University of Virginia

This panel is dedicated to the memory of Professor Alexander Victor Prusin, who passed away on 13 August 2018.

The history of post-Holocaust justice remains developing terrain, especially for lesser-known trials connected to Eastern Europe. After the publication of Prusin’s and Finder’s ground-breaking work,​ Justice behind the Iron Curtain (2018), we find it necessary to explore the topic further.

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Laura Jockusch, Brandeis University

The Trials of Stella Goldschlag: Nazi Victim, Holocaust Survivor, and War Criminal

Abstract

Olga Kartashova, New York University

Polish Law Discovers a Nazi Camp: The Investigation and Trials of the Death Camp in Chelmno

Abstract

Gintarė Malinauskaitė, Branch Office Vilnius of the German Historical Institute Warsaw

(Im)Possibility of Justice: Holocaust and War Crimes Trials in Soviet Lithuania in the 1960s

Abstract

Wolfgang Schneider, University of Heidelberg

From Gray Zones to Red Courts

Abstract

Rethinking Aftermath Studies: Conceptualizations, Terminologies, and Realities of the Holocaust

Rethinking Aftermath Studies: Conceptualizations, Terminologies, and Realities of the Holocaust

Moderator: Jan Grabowski, University of Ottawa

Is the Holocaust a history without end, i.e. an event that has never stopped developing consequences, as Claude Lanzmann suggests in his cinematic masterpiece Shoah? If we agree with Lanzmann that we are still implicated in the situation that brought this radical event about, we need to rethink existing descriptive categories of the Holocaust and its aftermath.

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Elżbieta Janicka, Polish Academy of Sciences 

Four new Descriptive Categories of the Holocaust of Polish Jews

Abstract

Katrin Stoll, Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, Germany

Divergent Holocaust Narratives concerning the Role of the non-Jewish Majority in Poland

Abstract

Raphael Utz, Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Sobibór and the Reality of Graves since 1944

Abstract

Markus Wegewitz, Europäisches Kolleg Jena

Survivors’ Coalitions. Shared Efforts to conceptualize the Holocaust on the part of Jewish and gentile Survivors of Nazi persecution, 1944–1962

Abstract

Space, Place, Scale

Data Visualizations

The Digital Holocaust: Ethics, Performance, Memory

The Digital Holocaust: Ethics, Performance, Memory

 

Kathryn Heuther, University of Minnesota

The End of an Era: Holocaust Ventriloquism or Living Performance

Abstract

Alexis Lerner, University of Toronto

The Ethics of Quantifying Holocaust Archives

Abstract

Kate Marrison, University of Leeds

Digital Holocaust Memory: Embodied Encounters?

Abstract

Holocaust Refugees: Challenging Inherited Wisdom

Holocaust Refugees: Challenging Inherited Wisdom

 

Kimberly Cheng, New York University

Help, Hygiene, and the Home: Shanghai’s German-Speaking Jewish Refugees and Chinese Residents

Abstract

Laura Hobson Faure, Panthéon-Sorbonne University-Paris 1

Rethinking the “child victim” paradigm: Central European child refugees and their transnational networks, 1939-1945

Abstract

Nina Valbousquet, Ecole Française de Rome

Beyond Silence? The Catholic Church, Jewish Diplomacy, and Humanitarianism in the Light of War-Time Vatican Archives

Abstract

David Zimmerman, University of Victoria

Scholars in Flight from Hitler: Not a Triumphant Narrative

Video

Remapping Gendered Geographies of the Holocaust: Masculinity, Intimacy, Intersections

Remapping Gendered Geographies of the Holocaust: Masculinity, Intimacy, Intersections

Moderator: Noah Shenker, Monash University

panel  Video

Natalia Aleksiun

Jewish Men and Sexual Barter

Dorota Glowacka

Omnis moriar? Shifting Perspectives on Gender in Holocaust Visual Art

Atina Grossmann

Gendering the Remapping of the Holocaust

Björn Krondorfer

Zooming in on Men in Holocaust Studies: Conceptual Trajectories

 

The Holocaust Ghettos Project: Extending Research Paradigms with Digital Methods

The Holocaust Ghettos Project: Extending Research Paradigms with Digital Methods

Moderator: Alberto Giordano, Texas State University

This panel will present the first substantive findings of the Holocaust Ghettos Project, a major initiative funded by a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The four papers will explain the project’s main goal – to seek a more integrated Holocaust history by studying ghettoization as a geographical phenomenon.

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Tim Cole, University of Bristol

Modeling the Budapest Ghetto across the Twentieth Century: Digital and Analog Approaches Towards an Integrated History

Abstract

Paul B. Jaskot, Duke University

Modeling the Occupation of Krakow and the Krakow Ghetto: Digital and Analog Approaches Towards an Integrated History

Abstract

Anne Knowles, University of Maine

An Historical GIS of Holocaust Ghettos: Revealing Places and Chronology through Spatial Interrogation

Abstract

Anika Walke, Washington University in St. Louis

Spatial Experiences of the Holocaust: Visualizing Testimonies of Ghettoization

Abstract

Where Wartime Europe and the Caribbean Meet: Historical and Aesthetic Perspectives on Refugee and Exilic Journeys

Where Wartime Europe and the Caribbean Meet: Historical and Aesthetic Perspectives on Refugee and Exilic Journeys

Moderator: Marion Kaplan, New York University

Situated at the intersection of Holocaust studies and Caribbean studies, this interdisciplinary panel explores often unrecognized connections between wartime Europe and its Caribbean colonies. The panel does so in a multidirectional fashion by tracing the trajectories of both European refugees who fled to the Caribbean and Caribbean expatriates in Europe who were caught up in the war.

More

Sarah Phillips Casteel, Carleton University

Entangled Histories: Surinamese Artist Josef Nassy's Visual Diary of Internment in Nazi Germany

Abstract

Eric Jennings, University of Toronto

Between Rescue and Expulsion: the Martinique Escape Route, 1940-1941

Abstract

Tabea Linhard, Washington University in St. Louis

'Ships without Harbor': Shipwreck and Transit in the Caribbean

Abstract

Joanna Newman, Association of Commonwealth Universities

‘Bound for Nowhere’?: Refugee Journeys to the British Caribbean 1938-1944

Abstract

Scaling Up, Scaling Down: Exploring New Avenues into the History of Hiding

Scaling Up, Scaling Down: Exploring New Avenues into the History of Hiding

Moderator: Charlotte Schallié, University of Victoria

All across the map of Nazi-occupied Europe, Jews and other civilians went into hiding to avoid persecution, capture or deportation. Yet despite the European wide dimension, the scholarship mostly concerns the micro-level, focusing on strategies of survival in which Jews engaged, their experiences during their time in hiding, and their often complicated relations with their ‘rescuers’.

More

Iason Chandrinos, University of Regensburg

Surviving the Shoah in Occupied Greece: Hiding Places and Life Trajectories

Video

Dienke Hondius, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

In Hiding from the Nazis Across Europe: Connecting History, Memory and Space

Video

Geraldien von Frijtag Drabbe, Utrecht University

Interwoven trajectories: Stories of hiding, circles of identification

Video

Jewish Spaces under Attack: The Destruction of Privacy in Nazi Germany, Austria and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

Jewish Spaces under Attack: The Destruction of Privacy in Nazi Germany, Austria and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

Moderator: Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, Technical University-Berlin

In recent years research on the spatial turn has gained increasing importance in Holocaust Studies. While works such as Killing Fields and Bloodlands focused on genocidal spaces in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, research on the topographies of persecution in the years before the onset of mass killings is still in its early stages. The conjunction of the spatial concept with other paradigms, such as gender, agency, everyday life, privacy, and the history of emotions, has great potential, particularly for micro-historical studies.

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Benjamin Frommer, Northwestern University

Banned from Nature: The Jewish Search for Privacy in the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

Abstract

Wolf Gruner, University of Southern California

The forgotten Mass Attacks on Jewish Homes during the 1938 November Pogrom

Abstract

Michaela Raggam-Blesch, University of Vienna

Living Conditions and the Lack of Privacy in Vienna’s Collective Apartments

Abstract

Maximilian Strnad, Munich City Archive

“We must expect Jewish Influence via the Dining Table”: How German Authorities Redefined Businesses of Intermarried Gentiles as “Jewish Spaces”

Abstract

Comparisons, Continuities, Representations

rideau-canal-skateway-at-night-with-lights-credit-ottawa-tourism.jpg

Memory and Memorialization in Different National Contexts

Memory and Memorialization in Different National Contexts

 

Sultan Doughan, Boston University

After Blood: Holocaust Memory and the Limits of Belonging

Abstract

Lorena Fontaine, University of Winnipeg

Storying, Resiliency and Transformation in Survivor Narratives

Abstract

Katrin Paehler, Illinois State University

Similar in Content, Different in Form: Cape Town's District Six Museum, Yizkor Books, and Communities after Catastrophes

Abstract

Estelle Tarica, University of California-Berkeley

Holocaust Consciousness and the Cold War in Latin America

Abstract

Human Rights Awareness and Mass Atrocity

Human Rights Awareness and Mass Atrocity

 

Josh Dawson, State University of New York at Buffalo

The Aftermath of the Holocaust and Canada’s Residential School System: On Canadian Human Rights Awareness

Abstract

Gabriel Finder, University of Virginia

The Nanjing Massacre: It is Analogous to the Holocaust?

Abstract

Sayantani Jana, University of Southern California

Mass Violence and Silenced Memory: A Comparative Study of the 1938 November Pogrom in Berlin and the 1946 Calcutta Riots

Abstract

Continuities and Comparisons: Instances of Mass Violence and Memory

Continuities and Comparisons: Instances of Mass Violence and Memory

 

Charlotte Kiechel, Yale University

“Your Algerian Gestapo”: Holocaust Memory and France’s Antitorture Lobby, 1955-1962

Abstract

Cheri Robinson, Dickinson State University

From Mauthausen to Francoism

Abstract

Lisa Todd, University of New Brunswick 

Rassenschande: Implementing Racial and Sexual Segregation in German Southwest Africa and the Third Reich, 1904-1942

Abstract

Alexander White, University of Sheffield

The Perils of Connective Memory: The Holocaust, Israel, and Palestine

Abstract

Holocaust Literature: New Perspectives

Holocaust Literature: New Perspectives

 

Victoria Aarons, Trinity University

"How do you know who you are if you don't understand where you came from?": Navigating the Holocaust in Two Third-Generation Graphic Memoirs

Abstract

Jonathan Druker, Illinois State University

Primo Levi’s 'Shame of the Just' as Resistance to Crimes against Humanity

Abstract

Goldie Morgentaler, University of Lethbridge

Yiddish and the Woman Writer in the Post-Holocaust World

Abstract

Jeffrey Wallen, Hampshire College

The Purposes, Perils, and Toll of Holocaust Scholarship: Yishai Sarid’s The Memory Monster

Abstract

Rethinking Primo Levi

Rethinking Primo Levi

Moderator: Sharon Oster, University of Redlands

Primo Levi’s influence in the field of Holocaust studies cannot be underestimated, and the Ottawa conference provides an excellent opportunity to take stock of the effects. From Survival in Auschwitz (1947; 1958) to The Drowned and the Saved (1986), Levi’s writings have become authoritative canonical works of Holocaust literature, providing consistent reference points in our attempts to understand the Nazi camps.

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Murray Baumgarten, University of California-Santa Cruz

Telling Your Troubles: the Yiddish Epigraph of Primo Levi's "Periodic Table"

Abstract

 

Sharon Oster, University of Redlands

Rethinking Primo Levi’s "Muselmann"

Abstract

Gary Weissman, University of Cincinnati

If Primo Levi is a Man: Writing Masculinity after Auschwitz

Abstract

Anthony Wexler, Case Western Reserve University

Primo Levi’s Reverse Chronologies

Abstract

Child Survivors Negotiating the Postwar World

Child Survivors Negotiating the Postwar World

Moderator: Elizabeth Anthony, US Holocaust Memorial Museum

The aim of this panel is to broaden the discussion of child survivors by emphasizing the wider postwar context in which child search and the repatriation/resettlement of “unaccompanied children” took place.

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Rebecca Clifford, Swansea University

Claiming 'Unaccompanied' Children: Uncovering Children as Agents of Postwar Reconstruction

Abstract

Beth B. Cohen, University of California-Northridge

An Unbroken Chain: Postwar “Redemption” of Child Holocaust Survivors by the Orthodox Jewish Community

Abstract

Sharon Kangisser-Cohen, Yad Vashem

The Emotional Toll on Child Survivors of the Shoah: Examing the Work of Dr. Paul Friedman

Abstract

Christine Schmidt, Wiener Holocaust Library-London
Dan Stone, Royal Holloway, University of London

Women and Child Search: A Gendered View of Post-World War II Reconstruction

Abstract

Jewish Identity and Religiosity During the Holocaust

Jewish Identity and Religiosity During the Holocaust

Moderator: Avraham Rosen, Independent Researcher

The panel will point out different Jewish approaches to persecution and life-threatening circumstances during the Holocaust. It will discuss how religiosity was shaped and practiced in the ghettos and concentration camps by the daily experience of witnessing atrocities and the importance of prayer during the Holocaust.

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Gershon Greenberg, American University

Prayer Manuscripts in Forced Labor and Concentration Camps: Theological Aspects

Abstract

David Patterson, University of Texas at Dallas

The Collision with the Evil in the Esh Kodesh of Kalonymos Kalmish Shapira, Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto

Abstract

Helene Sinnreich, University of Tennessee

Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die? The High Holy days in Auschwitz 1944

Abstract

Christin Zühlke, Technical University of Berlin

Jewish Faith and Identity in the Center of Nazi Mass Murder – The Sonderkommando-Prisoners of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Abstract

New approaches to French Holocaust Testimonies

New Approaches to French Holocaust Testimonies

Moderator: Larry Langer, Simmons College, Emeritus

French Holocaust testimonies have a curious position in the corpus of research on the Holocaust in France. They have never been considered as central to Holocaust studies, just mere illustrations of research in political and social history. At the same time, captions of testimonies have been glorified and have become iconic, through works such as ‘Shoah’ by Claude Lanzmann.

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Jean-Marc Dreyfus, University of Manchester

The French Revolution and the Haskalah: the Diary of Lucien Dreyfus as an Attempt to Understand the European Catastrophe

Abstract

Valeria Galimi, University of Florence

Street Antisemitism in French Urban Space during the 1930s: Anti-Jewish Practices and Republican Reactions

Video

Audrey Kichelewski, University of Strasbourg

The Yizker Bikher Published in France after the Holocaust

Abstract

Judith Lyon-Caen, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Before Testimony Had Its Fame: Personal Accounts in ’Le Monde Juif’ (1945-1975)

Abstract

Seminars

Carleton University

Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars at various career levels for three meetings over the course of the conference, for sustained discussion of a question or problem.

Seminar One: Opting to Affiliate with Atrocity

Opting to Affiliate with Atrocity

Organizer: Irene Kacandes, Dartmouth College

This seminar will interrogate the ways in which scholars opt to affiliate with catastrophe. Marianne Hirsch’s foundational concept of postmemory has exceeded its original reference to familial affiliation, inspiring new affiliations as in Kacandes’s paradigm of co-witnessing. Using as a jumping off point three recent books that are also each in their own way a reflection of the authors’ decisions to hold themselves responsible, members of the seminar at diverse stages in their careers will discuss their works in progress that grapple with a decision to affiliate. How do our own visible and invisible connections to trauma intersect with our lives as Holocaust scholars? Sections of Michael Rothberg’s The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (2019), Angelika Bammer’s Born After: Reckoning with the German Past (2019), and Nora Krug’s Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home (2018) will serve as background for our discussions.

Seminar Participants:

Angelika Bammer, Emory University

Robert Franciosi, Grand Valley State University

Mary Fulbrook, University College London

Jennifer Geddes, University of Virginia

Elke Heckner, University of Iowa

Adam Knowles, Drexel University

Anna Kupinska, University of Alberta

Elysa McConnell, University of Ottawa

Shannon Quigley, University of Texas-Dallas; University of Haifa

Karen Remmler, Mount Holyoke College

Aleksandra Szczepan, Jagiellonian University

Viktor Witkowski, Dartmouth College

 

Seminar Two: The Visual Turn in Holocaust Representation and Studies

The Visual Turn in Holocaust Representation and Studies

Organizers: Victoria Aarons, Trinity University and Phyllis Lassner, Northwestern University, Emerita

A recent statement by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center makes a compelling case for a shift in the study of Holocaust representation: “Today’s generation is likely the last generation to hear Holocaust Survivor stories firsthand; therefore capturing and preserving these stories now is an educational and moral imperative.” This seminar will examine how this imperative calls attention to the significance of visual representations of Holocaust experiences, memory, and responses by survivors and their descendants. Visual representations widen possibilities to preserve and capture the stories of survivors and also advance our interdisciplinary methods of studying various forms of witness testimony. Our seminar will address the multifaceted visual turn in Holocaust representation as it provides narrative approaches and expressive methods beyond the constraints of committing fragmented, traumatic, and transmitted memories to written and oral forms of testimony. Although film and photography have become staples of Holocaust studies, our seminar will explore how these and such representational forms as graphic memoirs, art, holograms, and biopic film intervene in studying Holocaust memory and responses. We will explore different narrative methods that transform fragmented moments of Holocaust experiences and responses into a multifaceted, cogent record of contemporaneous and remembered terror. For example, graphic memoirs like Miriam Katin’s We Are On Our Own show how the interplay of textual and graphic narratives offers mutually challenging perspectives on the responses of a hidden mother and daughter. Instead of focusing on assessing Holocaust authenticity and interpretation, the study of graphic memoirs, art, and other visual forms calls attention to interpretive relationships between personal expression and cultural history. This seminar will show how ongoing interpretations of Holocaust narratives and memory are enriched by integrating the multifaceted forms and perspectives of graphic images. We will also engage with how the techniques of different visual genres demonstrate a critically significant development that extends strategies for understanding and questioning assumptions about the aesthetic and ethical limits inherent in the expression of Holocaust experience, response, memory, impact, and approaches to interpreting the Holocaust as well as other mass atrocities.

Seminar Participants:

Noah Benninga, Hebrew University

Rachel Brenner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sarah Kleinman, German Institute for Human Rights

Alexander Korb, University of Leicester

Barbara Krasner, Gratz College

Joanna Krongold, University of Toronto

Richard Middleton-Kaplan, Walla Walla Community College

Sharon Oster, University of Redlands

Sylwia Papier, Jagiellonian University

Rachel Schaff, Ithaca College

Lucas Wilson, Florida Atlantic University

Seminar Three: Challenging Prevailing Paradigms in Holocaust Studies through the Creative Arts

Challenging Prevailing Paradigms in Holocaust Studies through the Creative Arts

Organizer: Henry Greenspan, University of Michigan

Years ago, scholars like Alvin Rosenfeld and Sidra Ezrahi suggested that poetry and visual art might be especially effective media for Holocaust representation because they did not rely on linear narrative. In contrast with “stories” (or “histories”), art of this kind could convey enclosing rather than unfolding terror; an entire “landscape of death” rather than discrete horrific episodes; imagery that evokes the rawness of grief, desolation, and rage more vividly than conventional narrative. That said, although often romanticized, there is nothing inherently revolutionary about the creative arts. They can be employed to reinforce reigning paradigms—often via sentimentality, kitsch, and cliché—or to broaden and contest those paradigms. It depends. This seminar includes practicing artists—dramatists, poets, visual artists, lyricists/composers, and others—who self-consciously have intended to contest; artists who have worked to represent dimensions of Holocaust history and memory—including “survival”--that have generally been marginalized, dumbed down, or sentimentalized. It also includes interpreters of such work: colleagues who have thought about the ways the creative arts can destabilize our usual practices and conceptual habits in Holocaust Studies. It has become clear that what can be conveyed in one mode may be impossible in the other. Such realities, and the choices that follow, will also be part of the seminar’s discussion.

Seminar Participants:

Abby Anderton, Baruch College, City University of New York

Michael Branthwaite, Staffordshire University

Charlotte Schallié, University of Victoria

Karen Frostig, Lesley University; Brandeis University

Catherine Greer, University of Tennessee

Suzan Kalayci, University of Oxford

Golan Moskowitz, Tulane University

Belarie Zatzman, York University

Seminar Four: Six Decades after Hilberg and Five Decades after Trunk: A New Analytical Comparative Framework for the Study of Jewish Councils

Six Decades after Hilberg and Five Decades after Trunk: A New Analytical Comparative Framework for the Study of Jewish Councils

Organizers: Jan Lanicek, University of New South Wales; Dan Michman, Yad Vashem; Laurien Vastenhout, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies

Jewish representative organisations that were instituted at the behest of German occupiers and their allies during the Second World War (Judenräte or Judenvereinigungen) have been a subject of controversy ever since their establishment. Such controversies persist and are abused by some historians and public activists who attempt to cloud the question of responsibility for the execution of the Holocaust. Both during and after the war, Jewish leaders of these organisations have been criticised for their supposed role in the deportation of Jewish communities and alleged cooperation with the Nazi authorities, not least by Hannah Arendt in the early 1960s. Despite (recent) attempts for a more distanced understanding of the nature and function of these bodies, there has not been a conceptual breakthrough in the study of these organisations. This can be explained by the fact that these organisations are, with few exceptions, researched only in their national contexts.  Seven decades after the first studies by survivors such as Philip Friedman, six decades after Raul Hilberg’s Destruction of the European Jews, and five decades after Isaiah Trunk’s Judenrat: the Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe under Nazi Occupation, there is a need for new empirical research into the nature of Jewish Councils and similar bodies. Few attempts have been made to compare and contrast these organisations throughout Europe and North Africa. This seminar aims to focus on five specific themes relating to this subject:

The socio-historical nature of the Jewish Councils’ leaders.

The nature of the interactions of the Jewish Councils with the non-Jewish non-German populations, with a specific focus on local authorities.

Relations of Councils with the Jewish communities they represented and administered.

How and when the Council was appointed, its initial sphere of activity and its develop over time.

Relations and connections between Councils in close vicinity and in faraway places.

By comparing and contrasting the Jewish representative bodies throughout Europe and North Africa on these specific themes, we will come to entirely new interpretive paradigms that enhance our understanding of these organisations.

Seminar Participants:

Gaelle Fisher, Center for Holocaust Studies, Institute for Contemporary History

Denisa Nestakova, Comenius University

Laurence Schram, Kazerne Dossin

Agnieszka Zajączkowska-Drożdż, Jagiellonian University

Talia Farkash, University of Haifa

Philipp Dinkelaker, Center for Research on Antisemitism

Seminar Five: "Neighbors," Twenty Years Later

"Neighbors," Twenty Years Later

Organizers: Monika Rice, Gratz College and Antony Polonsky, Brandeis University

The publication of Jan Tomasz Gross’s Neighbors evoked the most heated public debate in post-communist Poland, and seemed permanently to alter Polish historiography of the Holocaust (which only emerged in the wake of the partly nostalgic interest in Jewish past during the 1980s) as well as popular understanding of Polish-Jewish relations during the war. Cutting-edge research and publications on Polish collaborators in the process of Jewish mass murder; apparent –though inconsistent –surveys demonstrating a nuanced popular understanding of Polish-Jewish relations; burgeoning commemorative initiatives; and improvements in Holocaust education –all seemed to show that Polish society was successfully “overcoming the dark past” and may even become a model for other Eastern European nations. This optimism received a brutal shock in the wake of the adoption in January 2018 by the Polish parliament of an amendment to IPN law (ostensibly intended to defend “Polish honor” from the offensive phrase “Polish concentration camps”), which was followed by an unprecedented public outburst of antisemitism. This revealed deeply held, unchecked, and dormant layers of antisemitic attitudes, coming to the surface with ferocious energy that challenged the previous notion of a positive social transformation, away from antisemitism.

In the light of this challenge, the Seminar seeks to understand the recent resurgence of public expressions of antisemitism.  Participants in the Seminar will include some of the most critical scholars of Polish behavior during the war. Participants will discuss the pedagogy of Neighbors’ “shock therapy” and consider whether other paradigms of dealing with the difficult, shameful past could have provided –and could still provide–a more effective way of moving popular understanding to a more accurate and nuanced understanding of war-time Polish-Jewish relations.

Seminar Participants:

Jacek Borkowicz, Rzeczpospolita Newspaper

Omer Bartov, Brown University

Robert Kostro, Polish History Museum

Joanna Michlic, University College London

Anat Plocker, Stockton University

Adam Puławski, Grodzka Gate-NN Theatre Centre

Michael Steinlauf, Gratz College

Malgorzata Wloszycka, University of Southampton

Andrzej Żbikowski, Jewish Historical Institute

Tomasz Żukowski, Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences

Seminar Six: Lessons Learned? Teaching the Holocaust in and with Texts in Languages Other than English

Lessons Learned? Teaching the Holocaust in and with Texts in Languages Other than English

Organizers: Natalie Eppelsheimer, Middlebury College;  Rachel Halverson, University of Idaho; Yael Siman, Iberoamericana University

Education about the Holocaust has become increasingly global, but historical understanding of the event and the texts used for teaching differ among countries. This seminar will focus on the linguistic diversity in Holocaust Studies and Holocaust teaching and learning at colleges and universities worldwide, reflecting on how internationalization offers opportunities and challenges for teachers and students. The aim of the seminar is to examine the teaching of the Holocaust in different disciplines and in a variety of national and cultural contexts through a linguistic/cultural lens and to explore the limits, challenges, and possibilities of teaching with texts (in the widest sense of the word) in languages other than English.

What texts are used in university courses on the Holocaust in different countries? Are there texts specific to North America, Europe, or the “Global South”? How does the choice of texts differ between disciplines at Anglophone U.S. or Canadian institutions of higher learning such as Comparative Literature, French, German, History, Italian, and Jewish Studies? What texts are read in translation? What films are shown and in which languages? What archival materials are brought into the classroom? How do we work with multilingual audio or audiovisual testimonies of survivors? To what extent do the national and cultural contexts surrounding higher education play a role in what is taught and how? What historical analogies are drawn in different national and cultural contexts? What are the lessons we want our students to draw from studying the Holocaust?

This seminar will provide a forum for teacher-scholars from many disciplines to participate in sustained discussions of the role of language and the respective cultural, historical, and national contexts in which we conduct our pedagogical work.

Seminar Participants:

Emmanuel Kahan, National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina

Débora Kantor, Social Research Center, National Council for Scientific and Technical Research - Institute for Economic and Social Development, Argentina

Irina Makhalova, Higher School of Economics, National Research University

Nancy Nicholls, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Stephanie Pridgeon, Bates College

Darrell Lockhart, University of Nevada-Reno

Lynn Wolff, Michigan State University

Matthew Warshawsky, University of Portland

Xiaoxue Sun, University of California-Santa Barbara

 

Seminar Seven: Communist Jews in the Holocaust

Communist Jews in the Holocaust

Organizers: Anna Hajkova, University of Warwick and Katarzyna Person, Jewish Historical Institute

This seminar intends to collect a group of experts to explore the history of the Jewish radical Left during the Holocaust. We want to explore topics such as Communist resistance groups in the ghettos; Jewish participation in Communist networks, including aid undertakings; the Menshevik Yiddish writers of Di algemeyne entsiklopedye; and long-standing Communist Jewish activists’ odyssey from Spanish Civil War to emigration and concentration camps in Germany and occupied Europe.

With the global rise of populism and the extreme right in the past years, antifascist histories are experiencing new interest. However, these narratives rarely integrate genuine Jewish perspectives. Important exceptions are studies by Kim Wünschmann and Mirjam Zadoff about Jewish Communists imprisoned in the early concentration camps. Still, the new interest in history of antifascism is a watershed: the socialist master narrative celebrated Communist resistance in WWII, but erased Jewish participation. Post 1989 interpretations delegitimized Communist narratives in showing how instrumentalized, dogmatic, and often antisemitic it could be. Our seminar aims to revisit he question about authentic Jewish Communist and radical Left perspectives without dismissing people’s beliefs as wrong because Communist. Building on Lisa Kirschenbaum’s examination of Spanish Civil War, our seminar aims to revisit questions about Jewish Communist and radical left perspectives on the Holocaust. Our goal is to ask how to write a history of the radical Left in the Holocaust, and by extension, an intelligent left history of this genocide.

Seminar Participants:

Eliyana Adler, Pennsylvania State University

Anna Koch, University of Leeds

Piotr Laskowski, University of Warsaw

Daniel Lerner Naor, Bar Ilan University

Anna Muller, University of Michigan-Dearborn

David Shneer, University of Colorado-Boulder

Viktoriya Sukovata, Karazin Kharkiv National University 

Alexander Walther, Friedrich Schiller University

Workshops

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Workshops consisting of one or two presenters focus on particular questions, approaches or sources. Workshops are interactive and practical, highlighting (for example) a new pedagogical approach or research question or method; curricular innovations; or creative ways to examine and interpret artifacts or texts both in research and the classroom.

Workshop One: New Approaches to Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah: Research and Teaching in Light of the Outtakes

New Approaches to Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah: Research and Teaching in Light of the Outtakes

Organizers: Erin McGlothlin, Washington University in St. Louis and Brad Prager, University of Missouri

This workshop centers on Claude Lanzmann’s seminal film Shoah (1985), one of the most historically important films about the Holocaust. Since its release, the film has profoundly influenced the way historians, documentarians, and cultural scholars look at and understand the history of the Holocaust, as well as how subsequent filmmakers have sought to represent it. Many have argued that Lanzmann’s extraordinary documentary, with its emphasis on bringing Holocaust victims and perpetrators discursively or physically back to the scene of the crime, invented a radically new form of witnessing and remembrance. In its focus on contemporary memory, its emphasis on oral interviews, and its deliberate avoidance of archival footage, Lanzmann’s film has permanently and fundamentally changed the nature and use of filmed testimony.

Among the recent events that have brought the film renewed attention is the restoration and digitization of 220 hours of unseen outtakes by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. The many hours of footage constitute a valuable archive now freely available online to scholars, students and the public. This workshop will explore new directions in teaching and research made possible by the recent availability of the Claude Lanzmann Shoah Collection.

The first part of the workshop, led by Erin McGlothlin, focuses on how both Shoah and outtake footage of particular interviews can enhance research and teaching about the Holocaust. McGlothlin will offer strategies for teaching this vast material, including scenarios for clustering interviews according to thematic, temporal and spatial parameters.

The second part of the workshop, led by Brad Prager, examines the implications of how the outtakes impact scholarly understanding of Lanzmann’s directorial practices and the body of work as a whole. While many scholars research and teach Lanzmann’s other Holocaust films, they do so without attending to the additional archival material.

On the basis of their recent edited collection The Construction of Testimony: Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah and Its Outtakes (Wayne State UP, 2020), McGlothlin and Prager will conduct a workshop in which they bring these questions to a wider audience.

Workshop Two: Teaching the Holocaust using Archival Sources: A Multiperspective Approach

Teaching the Holocaust using Archival Sources: A Multiperspective Approach

Organizers: Caroline Pearce, Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History and Alan Steinweis, University of Vermont

Historical research into the Holocaust has become increasingly differentiated, considering the experiences and actions of a broad range of groups. However, over seven decades since the end of World War II historical narratives are frequently influenced by interpretations transmitted via cultural memory, particularly through the media. This makes archival resources ever more valuable in preserving and mediating knowledge and understanding of the historical and political processes linked with persecution and murder and in providing insights into the biographies of those affected. For the purposes of teaching, such resources are invaluable in informing students not just about what happened but how it was experienced by people at the time.

This workshop will address the benefits and challenges of taking a multiperspective approach to teaching the Holocaust with archival sources, using the example of the English translation of the 16-volume document collection The Persecution and Murder of the European Jews by Nazi Germany,1933–1945. The Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) Munich–Berlin in conjunction with the German Federal Archives, the University of Freiburg, and Yad Vashem are producing the series. The German Research Foundation is funding it.

Each volume contains approximately 300 documents drawn from archives all over the world. The significance of the volumes lies in their inclusion of a large number of hitherto unpublished or untranslated archival sources. Moreover, the series covers all parts of Europe affected by National Socialism and the Holocaust, thereby emphasising the scale of crimes and how they developed in different territories. The documents are presented chronologically, which lends an immediacy to the materials in chronicling events as they unfolded. The series also stands out by virtue of its multi-perspective approach: the contents juxtapose the actions, attitudes, and experiences of a diverse range of individuals and institutions and provide insight into perpetrators, victims, and those not directly involved in the crimes.

The workshop will start with an introduction to the structure, objectives, and relevance of the document collection and discuss how the English-language series addresses specific linguistic and terminological considerations and has been adapted for an international audience that may have little or no German, and that may have specific expectations or interpretations of the content. Next, the workshop will focus on the uses of the collection for teaching, in particular how a multiperspective approach can be adopted to the study of the sources.

Participants will consider issues such as the use of ‘raw’ and unabridged sources for teaching, the impact of using various document types and the way in which the documents illustrate the radicalisation of anti-Jewish policy. They will also consider how the additional materials provided in the volumes, such as biographies, can aid with enhancing understanding of background and content, what students need to know as context, and how the documents could be used in combination with other materials. Overall, the workshop  will  give  participants  the  opportunity to discuss and evaluate the function of this and  other document collections as a pedagogical resource, and to discuss broader issues such as the benefits and limitations of using translated sources.

Workshop Three: Connecting the Holocaust to Mass Atrocities Today: Unpacking the “And” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Connecting the Holocaust to Mass Atrocities Today: Unpacking the “And” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Organizers: Dana Smith, Keene State College and James Waller, Keene State College

Keene State College offers the only undergraduate major in Holocaust and Genocide Studies in the US.  The major is intentionally interdisciplinary and engages the conversations that lie at the heart of rethinking paradigms for understanding, representing, and teaching in the field.  Among these are: How do we teach about the Holocaust in this era of heightened political and social tension –when politicians stoke fears about immigrants and minorities, when global leaders wage a war against the free press, and when “never again” remains a fiction as genocide and mass atrocities are still occurring globally. Does our contemporary situation demand new professional obligations of scholars and educators? What special role, if any, do Holocaust and genocide scholars play at this time? What pedagogical issues arise in using the Holocaust constructively to understand current human rights crises?  In short, how do we understand the “and” in Holocaust and Genocide Studies?

This interactive and practical workshop will be facilitated by two faculty of Keene State’s unique Holocaust and Genocide Studies department. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of our conversations, one (Dana Smith) is a Holocaust historian and the other (James Waller) is a social-political psychologist more broadly interested in mass atrocity and human rights violations. 

The facilitators will open the workshop by briefly reviewing the interdisciplinary curriculum of their academic program and sharing two specific pedagogical challenges related to the “and” in Holocaust and genocide studies –(1) the responsible use of Holocaust analogies and (2) teaching about the rise of fascism and nationalism during a time of global democratic decline. How do we equip students with the capacity to identify and articulate the danger of bad-faith analogies while simultaneously encouraging them to draw comparisons across the spectrum of past and present events?  How do we reframe or reconceptualize what we teach about the rise of Europe’s 20th century regimes in the context of our own global democratic recession?

The workshop will privilege participative discussion and, in that spirit, attendees are asked to come prepared to share a specific challenge, issue, or pedagogical strategy they have used to connect the Holocaust to discussions of nationalism, imperialism, and mass atrocity. 

Workshop Four: Biographies into the Focus! Using Archival Material on National Socialism and the Post-War Period in Educational Settings

Biographies into the Focus! Using Archival Material on National Socialism and the Post-War Period in Educational Settings

Organizers: Kerstin Hofmann, Arolsen Archives and Elisabeth Schwabauer, Arolsen Archives

Historical documents created for concentration camp inmates, forced laborers or Displaced Persons can be approached from various angles in educational settings. Documents like the registration records and other cards or files held by the Arolsen Archives –International Center on Nazi Persecution can help to explore individual biographies of persecutes and thus to commemorate them in the classroom and beyond. A recent turn in Holocaust Education is marked by the integration of new technologies that may help students to enhance their understanding of the complex history of the Holocaust.

In the workshop, we will apply –in an active and self-explorative way–different methods and interactive techniques to explore archival material. The focus still lies on one historical document –but we will apply different approaches in small-group sessions. Participants will start with one document of a concentration camp inmate and see how understanding of the document and the biography broadens by using various digital offerings: the Arolsen Archives Digital Collection, video testimonials, interactive Story Maps, or the e-Guide, an online tool that explains the historical context of archival material.

Workshop Five: From Commemoration to Education: Three Perspectives on Learning from the Holocaust

From Commemoration to Education: Three Perspectives on Learning from the Holocaust

Organizers: Sandra Alfers, Ray Wolpow Institute, Western Washington University; Jeremy Maron, Canadian Museum for Human Rights; Scott Murray, Mount Royal University

The goal of this workshop is to engage participants in a discussion of the opportunities, risks and challenges that different types of Holocaust commemoration can offer for deepening understanding of the Holocaust, making meaningful connections, and providing a critical lens to encourage reflection on other human rights abuses and mass atrocity, including those perpetrated against Indigenous peoples in Canada.

As facilitators from different disciplines and educational institutions, we will provide participants with three perspectives for discussion in smaller groups: teaching Holocaust history at site-specific commemorative spaces in contemporary Europe; having students develop commemorative projects in a location far from where the Holocaust unfolded; and putting the Holocaust into dialogue with other mass atrocities. Facilitators seek to create participation from workshop attendees through 1) short stimulating presentations, 2) guided interactive tasks in small groups, and 3) guided whole-group discussion.

Travel study courses and field schools are a well-established feature of the Holocaust education landscape, providing students with powerful experiential learning opportunities in locations where the events of the Holocaust transpired. But as spaces crafted to serve both commemorative and didactic purposes, many Holocaust memory sites visited by field schools are difficult for students to “read” critically, particularly as nationalistic governments strive to recast their countries’ involvement in the Holocaust. Based on a spring 2020 field school focusing on Holocaust commemoration in France, Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland, Scott Murray (Mount Royal University) will assess the implications for Holocaust educators of this revival of nationalist inspired public history.

Teaching Holocaust history, memory, and representation in any educational setting is a complex task and merits particular considerations, but even more so in the L2 classroom where students embark on learning in a language other than English. Sandra Alfers (Western Washington University) will give a concrete example of a successful summative assessment in an advanced German-language class on Holocaust memorialization and representation, in which students design their own Holocaust memorials for end-of-the-term projects. She argues that this hands-on task motivates learners to engage collaboratively, creatively, and intellectually with the difficult topics at hand and allows students to make important local connections and critical comparisons, even when geographically and culturally removed from the sites discussed.

Guided by a mandate to promote dialogue and reflection on the subject of human rights, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) has developed exhibitions, education and programming pertaining to a wide range of mass atrocities and gross human rights violations including the Holocaust. Jeremy Maron, a Curator at the CMHR, will share some practical examples of how CMHR programs have placed different human rights abuses and atrocities into dialogue with each other, while respecting the specificity of the historical circumstances of each event. Such approaches aim to broaden the impact of atrocity commemoration and education, and increase the relevance of these initiatives for broad publics that comprise the museum’s target audiences.

These three perspectives, each contending with the complex linkages between Holocaust commemoration and history, will provide workshop participants with an array of entry points into constructive conversations about what and how we learn from the Holocaust.

Workshop Six: Memory Activism and Collaborative Processes of Research Creation

Memory Activism and Collaborative Processes of Research Creation

Organizers: Angela Henderson, NSCAD University and Solomon Nagler, NSCAD University

In July 2019, the Biennale Warszawa hosted ​Speculative Cartographies ​(Henderson, Janus, Nagler, Schwarz, 2019), an interdisciplinary research-creation exhibition presented in collaboration with The Zapomniane Foundation, an organization that researches unmarked mass-graves of Jews murdered during the “Holocaust by bullets.” These include locations other than death camps such as forests, villages and rural areas. This exhibition incorporated a radical approach to visualizing and spatializing public memory of ​non-sites of memory​, aiming to develop a broader research-creation pedagogical framework that could be expanded across disciplines and contexts. The exhibition included innovative curation of archival material, sculptural documentation of experimental forms of cartography, interactive-visualization of GPR and LIDAR data, frottage, camera-less photography using flora, and the creation of an interactive wayfinding compass that uses GPS and creative coding.

This workshop will explore how collaborative processes of research creation can inform, contribute and foster innovative methodologies when memorializing sites of difficult heritage. Beginning with a discussion of work produced for the Biennale Warszawa, artists from the exhibition will conduct a hands-on workshop on topics such wayfinding, data-visualization, and ecology-focused art. Participants will explore how materials (found objects, bio-materials, virtual commemorations) can support, destabilize or question their own forms, their history, or their future context as temporary or permanent public memorials. We will also explore how co-creators become memory activists, creating work that unsettles our relationship to difficult heritage and how this activism can engage with the presentation of archival materials through sculpture and other forms of data visualization. We will also discuss how ecosystems can be a source of knowledge, evidence and data about past violence against people and nature, and how artists can make them visible through experimental cartography and collaborative research-creation methodologies. This workshop will explore how artistic practice can be strengthened and informed by sustained cross-disciplinary collaboration.

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